Cervicovaginal Synthesis of IgG Antibodies to the Immunodominant 175-199 Domain of the Surface Glycoprotein gp46 of Human T-cell Leukemia Virus Type I

Cervicovaginal Synthesis of IgG Antibodies to the Immunodominant 175-199 Domain of the Surface Glycoprotein gp46 of Human T-cell Leukemia Virus Type I

Cervicovaginal Synthesis of IgG Antibodies to the Immunodominant 175-199 Domain of the Surface Glycoprotein gp46 of Human T-cell Leukemia Virus Type I

Abstract

Paired sera, saliva and cervicovaginal secretions from 17 HTLV-I-infected women (19-75 yr) were tested for total IgA and IgG, for IgA and IgG to theimmunodominant region gp46/175-Pro-199, for serum IgG to the neutralizing domains gp46/ 190-Pro-199 and gp46/190-Ser-199, or for tax-rex proviral HTLV-DNA. Serum antibodies to gp46/ 175-Pro-199 were detected more frequently in the IgG (13/17) than in the IgA (5/17) isotypes. The majority (8/12) of anti-gp46/175-Pro-199-positive sera reacted also to gp46/190-Pro-199 or to gp46/ 190-Ser-199, demonstrating their neutralizing properties. In saliva, antibodies to gp46/175-Pro-199 were not generally detected. In cervicovaginal secretions, IgG to gp46/175-Pro-199, but not IgA, were detected in 6/15 (40%) patients. The mean specific activity of IgG to gp46/175-Pro-199 showed a trend to be higher in cervicovaginal secretions (218 +/- 109) than in sera (14 +/- 4). Furthermore, in all patients with cervicovaginal IgG to gp46/175-Pro-199, the cervicogaginal/serum ratio (19 +/- 6) of anti-gp46IgG specific activities were markedly above 1. HTLV-DNA was detected in 4/17 salivas, and in 3/15 cervicovaginal secretions, all from patients demonstrating cervicovaginal synthesis of IgG to gp46/175-Pro-199. In conclusion, IgG to gp46/175-Pro-199 in cervicovaginal secretions, when present, appear to be produced primarily locally because of local HTLV-I excretion. Since anti-gp46/175-Pro-199 antibodies usually support reactivities to neutralizing domains, their presence could be relevant for limiting HTLV-I transmission via cervicovaginal secretions.

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